Money U: Finances During the College Years

Friday, September 02, 2011

Beth Kobliner, financial journalist, member of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability, and author of Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties, discusses how to help your college student manage his or her personal finances upon going to school.


Beth Kobliner

Comments [13]

susan from NYC

I live in the Columbia University campus area, and I see the banks - Citi, Chase - hawking the students with the tables of free stuff all the time. It is clear that this still works, and that when the guest said that they aren't there anymore, she didn't visit this campus. It is predatory lending, and the I tell them as much when I walk by.

Sep. 02 2011 11:04 AM
Sarah from Prospect heights brooklyn

I got a credit card when I was 18 and in college and never carried a balance above $400 or missed a payment, even when I was pretty hard up. I think my parents would be horribly insulted if they heard this segment- they taught me early not to live above my means and that credit card allowed me to cover emergencies (like blown out tires) and to manage my meager cash flow.

Sep. 02 2011 11:04 AM
Randi from Brooklyn

I actually agree with her regarding the requirement that the student have a job before getting a credit card. I went to school in the '90s when the banks were GIVING AWAY credit and loans. I received my first credit card during second semester of freshman year, but I was a work study student so I had regular income.

But I don't agree that parents should be talking about finances when their kid is on the way to college. The finance talk should be done WAY before then. I can't count how many times my mother went over the household budget with me when I was in high school. And since my mother made me realize that after expenses there wasn't much left (particularly during my senior year in HS - IMO one of the most expensive times of your youth), it influenced me to look for work and understand the importance of employment.

Sep. 02 2011 11:02 AM
Abby from Brooklyn

Isn't this about fiscal responsibility? I had a credit card in college. The limit wasn't very high. I was taught to use it for emergencies or for things I knew I could pay at the end of the month. I paid my balance in full every month with the money I saved from working during the summers. I see many young people these days buying things I could never have dreamed of buying, still can't buy!

Sep. 02 2011 11:02 AM
kate Herskovitz from New York City

If banks are not supposed to sell credit cards to students without their parents' permission, someone better tell CHASE bank and NYU. All this week, as students return to campus, CHASE and other banks have tables on campus telling students they can get their own credit cards. I listen in, not one of the hawkers of early debt asks whether students are 21 or over.

Sep. 02 2011 11:01 AM
nanette from brooklyn

How about a Secured Credit Card with a bank. Credit limit is the amount on deposit in a CD. It builds credit history and you can't go off the rails.

Sep. 02 2011 10:58 AM
Erika from Brooklyn

My father gave me a credit card when I was 18. He had already talked to me about money issues and he knew me well enough to know that I would be responsible. It built up my credit and was very helpful. Parents should know if their children are trustworthy. At 30 years old my father still makes me keep one of his credit cards.

Sep. 02 2011 10:58 AM
Vivian from Brooklyn, NY

I disagree - both my children used my credit cards throughout college. They have learned to use it responsibly and they have money in case of emergency. This year, my child uses my credit card in place of a meal plan as she lives off campus. Before they had access to my credit card, I set up a Visabuxx account for them so I could monitor their expenses and add money as needed.

Sep. 02 2011 10:56 AM
Katie from brooklyn

Why is there an assumption that college kids can't work while they go through college? I waited tables all through college to have spending money (and then some) and had an American Express from the time I was 18. But the talk about fiscal responsibility started far before the drive to the dorms. I was always taught, if you can't pay it off at the end of the month, you don't buy it.

Sep. 02 2011 10:55 AM
Rich K from UCNJ

The car ride up? Wa-a-y too late. You should be teaching your child about money and debt in grade school. My parents insisted I save a percentage of everything I earned, and every gift. I did the same with my daughter. Some of her thankfully low school loans are in her name, and she pays those off. That establishes credit better than anything else.

Sep. 02 2011 10:55 AM
Ian Gutierrez from Brooklyn

Do the news laws against college students under the age of 21 prevent them from learning how to build a good credit history? Isn't college a time when young adults should be given the responsibilities of adulthood? When are adults in college charged with the responsibilities of adulthood?

Sep. 02 2011 10:54 AM
Sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

Parents should be talking about money WAY before going to college. Chatting about it in the car on the way to college is already too late.

Sep. 02 2011 10:53 AM
Dorian from Manhattan

What do you think of pre-paid cards such as the Amex "Pass" card? (do they pose any special risk or parents, and how is it best to manage them, such as a by auto or manual refills.) Thanks,

Sep. 02 2011 10:51 AM

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